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Asia Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD) album cover
3.72 | 42 ratings | 5 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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DVD/Video, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Time Again
2. Wildest Dreams
3. One Step Closer
4. Roundabout
5. Without You
6. Cutting It Fine
7. Intersection Blues - Steve`s Solo
8. Fanfare for the Common Man
9. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
10. Don`t Cry
11. In the Court of the Crimson King
12. Here Comes the Feeling
13. Video Killed the Radio Star
14. The Heat Goes On - Drum Solo
15. Only Time Will Tell
16. Sole Survivor
17. Ride Easy
18. Heat of the Moment

Interviews with Asia

Total Time 155 mins. approx.

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoffrey Downes / keyboards, backing vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars, backing vocals
- Carl Palmer / drums
- John Wetton / lead voice, bass and acoustic guitar

Releases information

US (DVD Regions 1 and 4): Eagle Vision EV 30226-9

Thanks to Guillermo for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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Buy ASIA Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD) Music

ASIA Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD) ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ASIA Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
4 stars Well, at last I bought this DVD this week, and I think that it was a good buy for me.

For years many people waited to see a concert video of the original line-up of ASIA, which in my opinion, it is the only real line-up and the best from this band. I consider the nineties line-ups of the band as a way that Geoff Downes found to maintain his musical career. Even the 1990 Tour that Downes, Palmer and Wetton did without Steve Howe showed that the original quartet was the best. Even John Wetton recognizes this in the Interviews which this DVD has as a Bonus Feature. In his opinion he says that the other line-ups without the four original members really didn`t work.

This DVD has very good quality in video and audio. Filmed in Tokyo in March 8, 2007, at the same concert from which the CD of the same name was recorded. But the audio of the DVD is better than the audio of the CD, I think. I could hear some mixing diferences, but maybe I could be wrong.

Other differences between the CD version and this DVD version are the inclusion of several song introductions which were cut from the CD. So, every member of the band had the chance to introduce songs and the other members of the band.

It is a very enjoyable concert, showing that these musicians still play very well. Despite that there are not very much visual interactions between the members of the band and that sometimes they look like they are simply doing their jobs, the performanes of the songs are very good anyway. In comparison to the DVDs of recent tours of the band YES that I have seen, in this concert Steve Howe uses almost only one electric guitar during the concert. With YES, he changes guitars in the same songs and between songs. In this case, he uses one electric guitar, another electric guitar which sounds like an acoustic guitar (!), one acoustic guitar during his "Intersection Blues" solo, a slide guitar (a dobro?) during "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and an electric mandolin during "Don`t Cry". Geoffrey Downes plays a lot of keyboards, and he also uses an Apple computer on which he maybe controls the sounds of his keyboards. One of his keyboards has a sound maybe sampled from a Mellotron and another keyboard sounds like a Vocoder while he sings some backing vocals. Carl Palmer`s drum kit is simpler in structure as in the past, but it sounds very good. His "drums and cymbals" solo is very good, with him even playing the cymbals with different techniques to make them sound different. He is a showman really duing this solo, throwing the drumsticks to the air without losing the rhythm! John Wetton also only uses one bass guitar, and he also plays some bass pedals parts to reinforce the bass sounds in some songs. He also plays an acoustic guitar in three songs, and a "lead bass part" during "Fanfare for the Common Man".. The stage and lights designs are simple, really, with three screens in the back of the stage on which some images are shown. I think that in comparison to oher bands, ASIA is more interested in the musical aspect more than in the visual aspect during the concerts. I also could see that they really used some backing tapes to reinforce the backing vocals, because in some songs only Downes is singing the backing vocals and they sound more than being sung by only one voice! Anyway, a lot of bands have done this since a long time ago.

The most interesting performanes in this DVD, are, in my opinion: "Time Again", "Cutting It Fine" (I don`t know if Downes also used backing tapes during his keyboards solo in the final part of this song or if he had the sounds of the othe keyboards programmed to sound at the same time he played the piano part), "Here Comes the Feeling" (my favourite song from their first album, with very good guitar riffs by Howe), "Sole Survivor" (a very good heavy version with very good guitar parts and sounds by Howe) and "Ride Easy" (a very good song which was previously released as the B- side of the Heat of the Moment single in 1982, here played in an acoustic version). Like GENESIS`"Evidence of Autumn", "Ride Easy" is for me one of the very good songs which were originally relegated to B-sides of singles by some bands.

Wetton`s voice is still very good, and sometimes he sings very high notes without showing in his face to be doing a very hard effort to sing them. Howe plays all the songs very well, with little variations as he played in the albums. Downes also plays very well, and he also looks a bit like Chris Squire sometimes! He also uses a Keytor keyboard to play the final parts of "Heat of the Moment" and he interacts a bit with Howe and Wetton.

The Interviews are interesting, too. They tell the story of how the band was formed by Wetton and with the aid of A&R man John Kalodner, famous for being behind the scenes of several successful bands like JOURNEY, FOREIGNER and others. Each member tells how they joined the band: Wetton and Howe started the band, Palmer was the third member to join, and Downes the last to join.

I couldn`t attend the concert they played in my city six days after this concert was recorded. So, for me this is a very good chance to see them playing live.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent concert by classic line-up!

Having enjoyed the audio recording and now it's time for me to watch the audio-visual performance of the band. As I have admired the audio record, I expected something great from this DVD and I got it right because this DVD has satisfied my expectations. In fact, I'd rather watch this DVD than enjoying the audio record because now I can see how grand pas play rock music on stage. Well, this is in fact my first chance to see the whole line-up on stage. The laser disc of "Asia In Asia" which was great also did not feature John Wetton and was replaced by Greg Lake (ELP). So, John Wetton is right when he said to the audience right after "Wildest Dream" that this is the band's performance at the first time with this line-up.

As I previously said, Asia was never intended as a progressive band at its first inception. It was actually created as a project outside the legendary bands players: Steve Howe (guitar) of Yes, John Wetton (bass, vocals) of King Crimson, Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Geofrey Downs of Yes. The result was a debut self-titled album in hard rock vein that I personally like it.

Just before the show, a classical music was played as background. The cameras shoot the audience which most of them are at minimum in their 40s age and above, using corporate suit and all of them are well seated with some front row seats are empty. The playback also features when the members of the band appear on stage waving to the audience.

This live album starts the appearance of the band at the concert with the nice song from debut album "Time Again". The audience stand up during this opening of the show. The opening (intro) part of this track is very memorable for me. It was quite surprise for me when I heard this song at the first time because I could not imagine that Steve Howe had ever played such guitar riffs in this intro. Carl Palmer drum works have been tailored in such a way that suits this song. It's quite uplifting that this song is put as opening for the show.

"Wlidest Dreams" is also taken from the debut album with some sort of symphonic touch through the work of Geoffrey Downes keyboard. Carl Palmer drums make the song sound like a prog one. The intro part is really wonderful. This is one of the songs that I like from Asia. "One Step Closer" is a straight pop rock song and it is performed excellently by the band. During the communication with the crowd, Wetton mention that this is the first show from the original members of the band for "the first time". As far as band concern they already played in Budokan with "Asia in Asia" - but Wetton was replaced temporarily by Greg Lake for bass and vocal. I owned the laser disc of this show.

Right after the completion of "One Step Closer" Carl Palmer made himself upfront of the stage and taking a microphone introducing that the band is going to play "Roundabout". "Roundabout" started with the intro using acoustic guitar work like the original version in Yes "Fragile". But when the vocal enters the music, it' quite clear that Wetton does not suit the requirements for this song in terms of vocal. So, overall, I don't think that this is a good cover of Yes, and in fact it's a bit disappointing. But watching this DVD is different than the audio CD because I can see the live vibes, especially the positive responses from the crowd. Right after "Roundabout" Steve Howe made some conversation with the crowd introducing the song that he and John wrote the next song. "Without You" from Asia debut album is a good one performed here and it seems that John enjoying with his singing here. I am touched with this beautiful song. It is followed by "Cutting It Fine". Right after "Cutting It Fine", Geoff Downes introduced Steve Howe to play "Guitar solo" acoustically. Steve Howe rules!

"Fanfare For The Common Man" from ELP is performed nicely, especially the keyboard part by Geoff and powerful drum works by Carl Palmer. Keith Emerson in opening act of Led Zeppelin Reunion concert also played this tune with Chris Squire, Alan White. This "Fantasia" version augmented by guitar fills by Howe nicely. The addition of guitar makes this song much more interesting. In fact the guitar sounds amaze me because I have never heard Howe guitar work like this one. So, this cover of ELP is much better than the original version. "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" is also a nice track played excellently with good piano work and acoustic guitar work accompanying vocal.

"Don't Cry" demonstrates wonderful combination of guitar by Howe and keyboard by Geoff. It's symphonic at the intro part and it moves as straight rock music in unplugged version. Acoustic guitar and piano serve as main rhythm section. It's cool. The band also plays King Crimson's debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King" with good vocal line of Wetton and wonderful guitar work by Howe as well as mellotron drenched background. The band then returns to their own creation "Here Comes The Feeling" energetically. The piano work is really good during the passage of this song.

"The Heat Goes On" has a great opening part in which the music is symphonic followed by Howe guitar solo just before Wetton enters his first lyrical verse. The structure of the song is good and interesting and it moves the music smoothly in good upbeat mode. I can see that the band performs this song as good as when they still united at the first time the debut was released. The keyboard solo demonstrated in this song is really stunning with its melodic and catchy notes, soaring from start to end with organ style. Howe's guitar solo during vocal line is also nice. At minute 4:37 Carl Palmer enters with his jaw dropping drum work. It's so powerful. Carl still rock! In fact, this is probably the best track from this live album because it has a very energetic nuance from start to end.

"Only Time Will Tell" starts eloquently with its soaring keyboard sounds that remind us to the symphonic music followed with a break that lets vocal to enter the music. It's really cool opening. In fact, the beats and melody of this song are very good that make this song is enjoyable. The music is heating up with the next track "Sole Survivor" which has great opening nuance in uplifting mode. "Ride Easy" is a mellow track with catchy piano and wonderful acoustic guitar accompanying transparent voices of John Wetton. It's so catchy and making this song a pleasant experience to listen to. The vocal characteristics of John Wetton fit with this song. It's really excellent. The live album concludes with "Heat of The Moment" which was the band's one of major hits from their debut album.


Overall, I can only summarize from a subjective point of view that this live album has really pleased me. I do enjoy spinning this DVD from start to end. I enjoy it very much because Asia debut album means a lot to me in terms of my quest of rock music when I was in undergraduate study in Bandung, west Java, by the time the debut album was released. I mostly enjoy seeing the members of the band, individually, because each of them is legendary in the progression of rock music. Carl Plamer with his unique drumming was famous with his brilliant work in "Karn Evil 9" he performed with his friends at ELP. John Wetton who contributed in wonderful vocal and bass playing of "Easy Money" in King Crimson. Steve Howe who has been so famous with Yes. And of course Geoffrey Downes with his contribution to Yes "Drama" and further development of Asia. The band's appearance at Budokan under "Asia in Asia" title was remarkably good and provided me with good satisfaction enjoying the CD as well as laser disc. I cannot comment about this DVD for those of you who have not been familiar with songs in this album - so sorry for that. So, my rating is very personal and subjective. It's four stars ratting, for sure. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought this DVD recently on a whim, my trusted "spider" senses whispering oh so gently to my credit card "Buy it, buy it" and like a metronome, I went to the cash register and paid obediently for it. I am not a big fan of Asia (having purchased the first 2 albums when they came out mainly because it was the flavor of the month and we were all hoping for some prog royalty back then). So why am I writing this? Well it turns out that while I am not gaga over Asia's music itself, I must guiltily admit that observing these amazing and legendary musicians was a whole new ball game and elicited some goose bumpy emotions. Think of it, it's the exact polar opposite of Blackfield, whose two albums are brilliant but the Live in NYC DVD, which I reviewed, just felt like chalk screeching up a black board, what with Aviv Geffen visually not being a pretty sight (sic!). Our genial Gatot has already explored the cut by cut critique of this live in Asia concert, so I will dwell on the generalities instead of the specifics and mostly the unexpected surprises. It's a great DVD, full of obvious passion from the totally genuine artists, all of whom exhibit childlike glee at the whole event (not what I expected from these potentially jaded rock stars). The Japanese, as I have stated recently in another review, are the most undisciplined/disciplined audiences who will ever encounter, one minute effusively polite and then, outright hysterical!!! Here, the reverence is palpable immediately and the response is effervescent. Steve Howe looks like a mad professor (in the 70s, he appeared like a mad student!) with impish grins & toothy grins, obviously having a blast. John Wetton has put on some weight but that rarely affects the voice which is in fine form, yet the glee is apparent from the get go. Geoff Downes does look like Chris Squire's brother and while a bit more reserved than the other three , he clearly enjoys being on stage with the guys. The biggest kid and the most visually appealing is Carl Palmer, who is fit as a whistle (between drums and martial arts, what do you expect?) and who, I must most humbly admit, just blew me away. I guess seeing is believing. The man is a monster drummer but also most amazing to watch, just like his equally famous co-percussor Bungalow Bill Bruford (those who have ever seen him live know exactly what I mean=eye candy). Palmer's drum solo verged on the ridiculous, highly technical but the sheer fun oozing from his being is just priceless. Since the Asia material on record is a tad syrupy, the inclusion of "Roudabout" (hey Gatot, Wetton's vocal is pretty good!), the superbly introduced by Palmer as a contemporary music classic "In the Court of the Crimson King" and the stunning ultra-prog moment of "Fanfare for the Common Man", that's worth every penny of the measly $15.00 dollars I spent. Yummy! I will also confess that, under the circumstances (and in that Tokyo environment) "Video killed the Radio Star" was delicious entertainment. A megaphone, really! The interviews are surprisingly heartfelt and genuine, this reunion was perceptibly not motivated by money (they are all loaded anyway) but by legacy. That is a most honorable tradition that deserves our applause. Again, much to my astonishment, I really enjoyed this visual document, proving once again that in the magical world of progressive (in all its diverse forms), you never know what your gonna get. Just like a box a chocolates. 4 eastern stars
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Decent melodic rock by the original line-up, with a few surprises

Yikes, I'm reviewing Asia. I know, I know. The prog purist, the cynic (bless his heart) in me tried to keep me from watching this.but he failed. Call it pop music, AOR, bubble-gum prog, whatever you wish. Call it one of those drunken one-night stands you regret the next morning when you wake up covered in.never mind. Personally I'd call it something I'd never buy but something that was enjoyable as a rental. If you're a fan you'll like this, but if you're not it won't suddenly make you one. I've never been a fan. Asia reminds me of that time when great artists were selling out for a buck, when apparently unable to come up with more from a progressive standpoint decided the next best thing was to cash in. But at least they formed a new group and made it on their own accord without the luxury of the Yes name. I'll take their brand of pop music over anything Trevor Rabin ever touched. This show was pretty fun to watch, filmed in front of a reverent and appreciative Tokyo audience. The set list was spiked with some nuggets that worked well (In the Court of the Crimson King, Fanfare for the Common Man) and some that didn't (Roundabout, Video Killed the Radio Star). No Machine Messiah unfortunately. The Asia material itself is very well crafted, melodic pop that sprung to life in Wetton's hands, his voice in fine shape for most of the show. Palmer was great behind the kit, powerful and driving. Howe was OK although I have to say honestly I don't think he's at the same level in his stage performance anymore. The stage show was minimal with some small video screens that seemed like an afterthought. The band was content to rely on their music and didn't bother with some mindbending light show which is fine with me. The camera work was generally good with steady, lingering shots and sans the insane-speed edits that can ruin a good show. The sound of the DVD left something to be desired: there was good clarity on the vocals, drums, and keyboards, but the bass often fell through the cracks and the guitar also seemed muffled at times. Overall the sound was good sometimes and other times a bit thin. Recommended for Asia fans and 80s pop/rock fans but I can't really recommend it to wider prog site. You'll likely enjoy bits and pieces but I'd be surprised if most prog fans could view this over and's not exactly Yes at QPR! 2 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars A fanfare for these uncommon men!

Even though I have most of their albums, I have never really been a big fan of Asia. If it wasn't for the fact that I am a huge fan of Yes and to a somewhat lesser degree of ELP, UK and King Crimson, I probably never would have been interested in Asia (the same is probably true of most people on this site, I guess). But since I am a follower of the members individual careers, especially Steve Howe's, I decided to pick this DVD up, even though my expectations were not that high to start with. I was positively surprised with this DVD, it's really great!

The four original members really seem to be having a great time playing these songs together once again. And there is much more energy and excitement in this live recording than in any of their studio albums (by this line-up or otherwise).

Every song from the first album is here, and every one of them sounds better here than the original studio versions. There are also three songs from Alpha. Don't Cry is here performed in an acoustic version that I think works much better than the original version.

The set list also includes one song each from the members individual pasts. From Steve Howe's past they picked out the Yes song Roundabout. It is really interesting to hear John Wetton sing this song, and even more interesting to hear Carl Palmer's drumming and Geoff Downes' keyboards in this song. Geoff has a hard time impersonating Rick Wakeman in this song, but he does his best here and he just about gets it right. Geoff has, of course, played this song live before when he was a member of Yes in the early 80's, but I have never heard him play it before. This is probably the best-sounding recording of him playing this song, and definitely the best filmed version of it featuring Geoff.

Even if Roundabout is one of my favourite songs of all time, it would have been even more interesting if they had performed something from the Drama album, which is the only Yes album Geoff ever played on. But obviously Roundabout is more well-known.

From Carl Palmer's past they perform Fanfare For The Common Man (which was made famous by ELP, even if they didn't write it). It's really fun to hear them play this piece, and it is interesting to hear Steve play guitar in this song since there is no guitar in the original ELP version.

The King Crimson song In The Court Of The Crimson King is also performed in an attempt to represent John Wetton's past. However, this is a weird choice because Wetton didn't write this song, he wasn't even in King Crimson at the time when they wrote this song. Something from the Red album would perhaps have been more appropriate, or maybe something by UK. Still, it is a great song and it is interesting to hear Steve, Carl and Geoff perform this song.

Every member must have his fair share, so they perform The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. And this time around, they perform this song with vocals and everything instead of just as an instrumental like Geoff used to do on previous Asia tours. This is the only song in the set list that doesn't really fit in. I would have preferred the instrumental piano version of this song.

Each member also gets his own little solo spot. Carl plays a drum solo in The Heat Goes On, Steve plays an acoustic little number called Intersection Blues, Geoff has a short (way too short!) solo spot at the end of Cutting It Fine and John gets the spotlight during The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Don't Cry.

The encore consists of the hit single Heat Of The Moment and a song called Ride Easy that was the non-album b-side to that single. This is a very good ballad and it is apparently not available anywhere else than the original single. All the more reason to get this DVD!

As a bonus feature on the DVD there are also 40 minutes of interviews with the four members. They talk about how they got into music in the first place as well as how they met each other and formed Asia. Nothing new maybe, but still quite interesting to hear it in their own words.

This DVD is highly recommended for fans of Asia, Yes, ELP, UK and older King Crimson. This is not only the best Asia DVD out there (both the Classic Rock Legends DVD and the Live In Moscow DVD look completely lifeless and dull in comparison with this), it is also the best Asia product whatsoever. So, if you only want one Asia product then this is the one to have! These guys have fun here and it shows in the music.

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